In case of kidnap, Mexicans are paying to have themselves injected with tiny transmitters. A Mexican company is responding to a soaring crime rate by implanting tiny radio transmitters under the skin of rich clients to help track them if they are kidnapped.
Last year alone 6,500 people were seized in Mexico by criminal gangs and hidden in dingy safe houses for weeks on end before they were released or killed. In the past only very rich or well known people were targeted, but now even middle class families are attacked.

Xega, a security firm, offers to implant customers with chips the size of a grain of rice for a one-off fee of £2,000 and monitor them for an annual fee of £1,000.

Customers also carry a panic button, so they can alert Xega and set the police on their trail if they are kidnapped. The company says its sales of the chips rose 13 per cent this year. Most people get the chips injected into their arms between the skin and muscle where they cannot be seen. Customers who fear they are being kidnapped press a panic button on an external device to alert Xega, which then calls the police.

Xega, based in the central Mexican city of Quererato, started out using satellites to monitor stolen cars but changed its tactics when a customer was kidnapped in 2001. It now sees abductions as a growing threat across the world and is planning to start offering its transmitters in Brazil Colombia and Venezuela from next year onwards.

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